PASQUALE GRASSO/Be-Bop: Grasso might seem like a Wes styled guitarist but when he gets down and dirty, he's a real daddio be-bop freak and can command his trio to back his bop all the way. This time around, he repurposes Diz and Bird and does them proud all the way. A fiery set that captures the sound and fury in fine form, this is a real nu daddio ear opener that drives it home hard.
JOHNNY STEELE/The Game: In which we find Ulysses Owens in the producer's chair continuing to further his legacy as the nu Norman Granz. Nurturing this drummer and his crew along the lines of comparing improv jazz to chess, the listener takes a ride through old New York nights when things didn't really get started until way after the sun went down. A solid quartet that's fine with letting the spirit move them, this is a spirited recording that's really real chops powered. Solid.
(Next Level 2226)
WYATT EASTERLING/From Where I Stand: A modern folkie that's been lurking in the background for a long time comes in with a personal set that strikes universal chords. No stranger to getting things done right, he used the ‘luxury' of his Covid down time to fine tune this set and get everything just right and just how he wanted it. A solid set with tunes for our times, this is a solid ear opener that rings true.
RANDY PALMER/Deeper Water: Don't know if his daddy was a lawyer but there seems to be a lot of similarities in Palmer to Guy Clark. Clark could write great songs when he wasn't trying to write hit songs and that folkie country troubadour spirit infused this set deeply. The kind of set that proves it don't have to be a hit to hit you, songwriting fans have a voice to check out here.
JENNY Q CHAI/Songs of Love: 20th Century romantic classical music and Chai's skills come together her for a solo piano recital that's illuminated with quiet fire and spirit that shows how cultural clichés are about to be smashed. From China to you proving that music is the universal language, you can almost hear her wheels turning as sure as the notes she's playing. This is a true hot, new find.
(Divine Art 25228)
KIMBERLY MORGAN YORK/Keep on Goin': A modern country gal who is unashamed to admit her love for the classic ladies delivers a set that has the sound and feel of driving across country well after dark and finding her to be the only oasis in a sea of religious radio programming. An associate of Drive By Truckers, her appreciation and interpretation of the convergence of old and new is heartfelt and honest. And a tonic. One of the best sounds after hours has ever had.
GLENN DICKSON/Wider Than the Sky: You can take the boy out of the bar mitzvah but... The acclaimed klezmer clarinetist goes solo with a bunch of electronics at his side crafting a world beat/ethnic hybrid that's more designed to take you to the agora than the souks. Certainly a dandy wild ride for those that don't want to board airlines just yet.
(Naftule's Dream 104)
MATTY T WALL/Live Down Underground: Any one out there want some uncut boogie without the clichés? Gather round. This power trio leader unleashes a new can of shrederoonie as ZZ Top meet John Lee Hooker and get together with the Martian Space X welcoming committee. A stone cold blues rock blast of a good time, Wall writes ‘em as well as sings and picks ‘em all the while making the joint jump like it had springs. This set is a real wake up call! And he's doing it from Australia!
(Hipster Dumpster 22)
VICKI BURNS/Lotus Blossom Days: With three octaves and a concept for a concept album about the arc of a love affair in her kit bag, the well chopped thrush enlisted a veritable A team of cats she met while gigging around New York since her last album and set to work. With a classic thrush vibe while not being tethered to the classic songbook, this album is a complete show that just needs a hologram of her on a cabaret stage to be a complete package. A right on bet for the jazz vocal fan.
ADA BIRD WOLFE/Odd Bird: Once upon a time, distaffers might have taken silent umbrage but didn't take offense at being called a broad. This time around, Bird, a classic sounding thrush, unleashes her inner broad---in the best sense of the word. I can think of worse ways to spend the pandemic lockdown than Zooming co-write sessions with Jamieson Trotter and Bird certainly made the most of the opportunity by turning out 45 songs, 12 of which found their way here. Filling the room with enough presence that she doesn't need a large crew behind her, jazzbos that like stuff for late night that's cool sounding have got to check this out.
June 27, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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